Every country has a distinct approach to the graduation traditions, especially when it comes to the ceremony. There are fun rituals and special clothing accessories for students to enjoy. Whether you’re a medical graduate in Russia or a high school graduate in Japan, you can bond with your classmates and feel pride in your school’s unique culture. Below, we’ve shared some of the most exciting and bizarre graduation traditions from around the globe.
Generally speaking, the Chinese school system has few graduation traditions. Graduates are allowed to celebrate however they want. Instead of bringing parents and distant relatives to an official ceremony, graduation is more about enjoying time with former classmates and friends. Wearing a traditional cap and gown is no longer required. Interestingly enough, many female graduates will come to the ceremony in wedding dresses!
In the land of Scandinavia, graduates don matching sailor hats. They start the ceremony by singing songs with their classmates. Next, the parents come to the ceremony with embarrassing childhood photos posted on large signs. Parents give their children special gifts tied with ribbons, then hang the ribbons around the children’s necks. Finally, the students take part in a citywide parade. There are floats and music, and the townspeople come to show their support.
The Japanese are proud of their cultural traditions, and graduation is no different. At the high school level, graduates perform choreographed routines with singing and marching. Students wear their usual school uniforms to the event. Unlike the American calendar, Japanese school starts in the spring, so graduation usually takes place in March.
This South American country takes the title for weirdest graduation tradition. On the day of the ceremony, observers pelt graduates with food, including ketchup, dressing, and syrup. It might seem like a one-sided food fight, but students look forward to this strange rite of passage. Of course, it’s quite enjoyable for the friends and family throwing the food.
Just like in Japan, Philippine graduation ceremonies take place in the springtime. Recently, wearing a cap and gown to graduation has become the norm, whether you’re in K-12 or university. Though they still wear their school uniforms underneath. As for graduation traditions, many Philippine high schools dress each graduate with a lei as they receive their diploma. They do this to reflect the country’s tropical climate and culture.